If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you probably know by now that I’m a serial celebrator. If there’s an occasion on the calendar, you can be sure I try to figure out how to make it a even more special than one might expect. My kids often make fun of me for this, but my hope is that one day they’ll look back on their childhood with fondness for how we went the extra mile to make the most out of what would otherwise be just an ordinary activity.
A few years ago, I wrote about some of our back-to-school traditions, but now that my two oldest boys are both heading off to high school, they’re no longer interested in reading new books together, or having their picture taken in front of our house. My six-foot tall sixteen-year-old is a great kid who almost always does as he’s asked, but he really draws the line at standing in front of the shrubs for a yearly first day of school photo. I understand. He indulges me when it really matters, or I just snap a few pics of him when he isn’t paying attention, if only to save him some eye rolling.
So, how do I make these special occasions now that my boys are big? It’s easy, really. I just do it with food. There are few things teenage boys like more than eating, so these days most of our celebrations take place around the table. It pleases them, the eaters, and me, the cook. I’ve been thinking long and hard about how I can mark the start of school with a few special meals, and I think I’ve landed on an idea that will work for all of us: we’re going to have a week’s worth of special back-to-school breakfasts. With enough advanced planning, I can come up with four meals that are a little more special than what they usually eat on an average Wednesday morning. I feel like this will help ease the pain that comes with summer’s end, while simultaneously offering my middle child a little extra comfort as he makes his way through the first week of high school.
I think one morning I’ll make a full English breakfast of eggs, beans, fried potatoes, and bacon, and another day I’ll do waffles with whipped cream. We’ll round out the week with banana bread scones and coffee, and a back bacon and sweet pepper sandwich.
Tell us, what are some of your back to school traditions? How will you celebrate the return of routine, regular schedules, and early bedtimes?